Life

My family and background

I was brought up as Croatian and even after almost 40 years living abroad (if I add to "living abroad" my scholarships in Copenhague and in Paris...) I feel myself as a such, being in the same time very thankful to my second adoptive homeland, Austria. My backgrounds from both sides of my family are less "Croatian" and much more of middle to north European mixture. At least in past hundred fifty years among my ancestors there have been Polish, German, French, Slovak and Hungarian people.

In my family, there have been three constants which occurred also in my case and my generation: music, painting or related arts - architecture for instance - and long tradition of social and social democratic thinking and engagement leading in several cases to death for those ideas and principles.

Childhood, school and first steps into Music making

I was born on 30th December 1946 in Rijeka, Croatia, as the third generation of musicians in the family of renowned musicians, pedagogues, artists and intellectuals. My mother, prof Nada Pirnat, was excellent concert singer and teacher of solo singing, my father Ferdinand, Ferdo, Pomykalo (as well as two of his brothers, Josip - clarinet player and teacher and Zvonimir - violoncello player and teacher) was very well known musician, conductor, composer and organiser in the field of music.

Even if I spent only the first nine months of my life living on the coast, the Sea was and still is (together with the mountains and forests or Nature in general) one of the most important things for me. The rest of my childhood, school and student days I was living in Zagreb, the capital of my homeland Croatia. In the music school I started to learn violin to which later came the piano. My parents divorced when I was five years old and even if I was brought up by my mother as a single child, I had three step sisters from my father’s first marriage, with whom I always had the best relationship.

I went in the elementary school and parallel to that, like many of my colleagues, in the music school learning violin which I really didn't liked... Later, I went to secondary grammar school and decided to study viola instead of violin.

Professional and private life:

Shortly before begin my studies at the Zagreb Academy of music, I started to play as the permanent member of the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Television Zagreb; one of the most important reasons for this decision was the fact that I got sick to have to fight with my father to get the alimentation.

As so many times later in my (whole) life, I was always active on at least two or three main fields. During the elementary school, I was drawing and painting in almost all techniques and thinking seriously to study this and leave the music path. Later, I was much more interested in playing rock music than learn what I should do in the secondary grammar school.

Parallel to my studies on the Academy of music and playing full time in the orchestra, I "discovered" Karate and was very active and even successful in performing Katas.

Even if I "discovered" early Music already in 1964, only in 1969 I decided that this and nothing else will be "my way" in Music. This love-affair (unlike any other in my life...) is still going on.

Shortly after my diploma on the Academy of music (1970) I ought to make the military service, some 1000 km away from my home (this was typical for young gays from Croatia and Slovenia, Bosnia and Macedonia - not at all for those from Monte Negro or Serbia) in Montenegro.

Even if some vague ideas about marriage appeared in my head already before the military service, during my permanence there and shortly afterwards I started to think about it quite seriously. I guess the fact that I was growing in a "half" family  resulted in this my almost fanatical desire to create my own, real, family... After various liaisons of a shorter or longer nature, I met Maja in 1973. and we decided to marry ... After so many years (and four marriages and divorces all together...) I can tell that this was certainly the best of all my marriages.

Anyway, seven years later I fell in love with Mira (my second wife) and left Maja. With Mira I decided to move to Vienna, Austria and to try the luck there. The marriage with Mira was very important for both of us also because we made some keen artistic, musical achievement together; first in Zagreb, then in Vienna, as a Duo and leading together our Austrian Ensemble Lyra Wien.

The third marriage was with an American flute player Nedra and the fourth and the last one with Judita from Sarajevo.

During the war in Croatia and Bosnia, my oldest sister Vera (living in Italy for many decades, married to an Italian, Giulio from Bergamo, having two Croatian-Italian daughters, Cristina and Giuliana) called and after many years we renewed our ties as never before... I guess the fact that at the end I found my REAL family was responsible that after the fourth divorce (1998) I decided to stop.

In Vienna, besides playing with our Ensemble Lyra, Clemencic Consort (and various other soloists and ensemble for early music) I ought to take a full job at the music store "Doblinger", working there for twelve years (1988-2000) before deciding to try the "luck" another time, in Italy.

Life between Austria and Italy, 2003 - 2015:

The idea was that we run our own family online music shop "Fondazione Pomykalo"; my sister Vera and his husband Giulio gave the financial support, my niece Giuliana supported the computer and graphic aspects and I invested all my musical experience in general and one from Doblinger shop in particular... Unfortunately, this beautiful idea didn't function in practice and after a year we decided to close the “shop”. With this started for me a long and mentally very difficult period of unemployment (2001 - 2009) which I was able to survive only due to the constant and loving support from my family in Italy and particularly my niece Giuliana... During the worst days in this period I arrived to the absolute bottom and was seriously thinking of a suicide because unable to see any reason for life.

Then, suddenly, one day my lawyer from Zagreb called telling me that I can sell my apartment there! I decided to come back to Austria, to Styria, where we found a small and beautiful peasant house some 60 km from Graz. Giuliana and I bought together this house in 2003, I moved to live there in 2004, Giuli arrived in 2005 and started to work for "Gedore" Austria. At the end of 2010. we decided to return in Italy because of various reasons: firstly because Giuli's parents were older and sick and Giuli's former company was expanding and offered her very interesting job.

In only four and half years there happened lot of mostly sad and unpleasant things, accompanied by several moves, job changes and searching for it: in 2012 Giuliana and Cristina’s father Giulio died, in 2013 their mother and my beloved sister Vera unfortunately died, too. For two years, we have been living close to Parma in Emilia Romagna. In 2014 I had to make two small surgeries having melanoma, the summer 2014 Giuli bought a house in Birkfeld. On the 1st day of 2015 Giuli had a small stroke and in the spring of that year we returned to live in our two houses in Austria (we have been living there until the end of 2017, later togehther in Birkfeld) with our two dear dogs and best friends: an old female German shepherd, Cayenne-Cocca and a male dachshund, Ferdi (our sausage dog).

The old lady Cayenne died in March 2018, I moved to south Styrian town of Lebring in September of the same year. We sold our house in Piregg and I returned to live in Birkfeld  in 2019.